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Already Awesome UT Story Gets Even Better

University of Tennessee offers scholarship to boy who was bullied over homemade shirt
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2019 4:32 PM CDT
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The new T-shirt design is for sale at UT.   (University of Tennessee's Vol Shop)

(Newser) – It was already a great story, and now it's even better: The 4th-grade boy who was bullied over his homemade University of Tennessee shirt, only to see his design turned into an official UT shirt, has been offered a four-year scholarship to the university as a member of its Class of 2032. The boy lives in Florida but is a huge UT fan, and the university says that as long as he meets the admission requirements, his tuition and fees will be covered starting in fall of 2028, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. The university is covering those costs; all proceeds from sales of the boy's shirt design are going to the organization STOMP Out Bullying.

"Alumni, fans, and honorary Volunteers have stepped up in response to this story. So far, more than 50,000 shirts featuring the boy’s design have been pre-sold by the VolShop," the university says in a press release. "University officials have spoken several times with the boy’s mother, who has expressed gratitude to the university and said the family has been deeply touched by the overwhelming outpouring from people around the world." The Rock, a 97.5-ton piece of dolomite on UT's campus that is often painted by students, was also recently painted to match the boy's version of the logo; it was painted over with an anti-Semitic message, but then quickly covered up again with words of love, WVLT reports. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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